Shelby County named ‘best budgeters’ in state

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Shelby County residents are among the best at setting a budget and sticking to it, according to a study recently conducted by the Smartasset.com website.

The site recently studied financial data for each county in Alabama, specifically in three key areas: how much residents spend as a percent of their personal income, average net wealth as a percent of personal income and bankruptcies per 1,000 people.

“We first determined the amount of money that people spend as a percentage of their income. To do this, we took the average personal consumption expenditures of each county and divided that by the average per capita income for people living in those counties. This represents the percent of personal income that goes towards personal expenses,” read the website. “Next, we looked at net wealth as a percent of personal income. This incorporates a view of the income level of the people within a county relative to their net worth. We divided the average net wealth of a person in each county by the average per capita income.
“To calculate bankruptcies per 1,000 people, we divided total bankruptcies declared in one year by the people living in each county. We then multiplied that number by 1,000,” the website read. “Finally, we indexed and equally weighted the three factors to yield our best budgeters score for each county. We then indexed those scores so the county with the best budgeters gets a 100.”

Shelby County topped the list, thanks largely to an extremely high net wealth-to-income ratio of 150.9 percent.

Shelby County residents have an expenses-to-income percentage of 79.3, and there are about 3.92 bankruptcies per 1,000 residents, giving Shelby County a “best budgeting index” of 59.56.

Cleburne County came in at No. 2 with a budgeting index of 48.27, Madison County came in No. 3 with a 46.76 budgeting index, Lamar County came in at No. 4 with a 45.48 budgeting index and Baldwin County rounded out the top five with a 44.95 budgeting index.

To view the entire rankings, visit Smartadvisormatch.com/data/places-with-the-best-budgeters/alabama